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Apr 30, 2013 02:20 PM

Nice Watsonville food article in Santa Cruz Sentinel

Today's Sentinel has a nice article on Watsonville options. It's not the same-old, same-old. I haven't checked out many of them, but a number of the places are on my "to-visit" list; some have also been discussed here in the past (e.g. El Frijolito).

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  1. A nice article in the Sentinel. Taylors hot dog stand has been there forever. I have been to there other stand in Visalia. Great chili dogs. Super value. Think I'll go there this weekend.

    1. Thanks for sharing the piece.

      Here's the list of places mentioned.

      Carnitas Trejo: 370 E. Lake Ave., 831-768-8863
      D'La Colmena Market: 129 W. Lake Ave., 831-724-4544.
      Delicias 2: 130 E. Lake Ave., 831-724-0559
      La Esperanza Seafood Drive-In: 400 E. Lake Ave., 831-728-9514.
      Freedom Meat Lockers & Sausage Co.: 160 Hi-Grade Lane, 831-724-4355.
      El Frijolito (aka Hole in the Wall): 11 Alexander St., 831-724-8823.
      Fruteria Quetzal: 433 Union St., 831-728-6577.
      Mi Pueblo: 1437 Freedom Blvd., 831-763-7656.
      Super Taqueria: 720 Main St., 831-761-1565
      Taqueria Lidia: 475 Rodriguez St., (at the bus station).
      Taylor Bros. Hot Dogs: 336 Union St., 831-722-2402

      The one I'm most curious about to try next is Carnitas Trejo, as friends tell me the carnitas are even better than D'la Colmena's. Who's been there?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        David Kinch once tweeted that Trejo was the best carnitas he'd ever had. IMO, the best carnitas has not just a deep luscious porkiness to it but also has some caramelization and crispiness on the outside. The latter requirement seems to be hit-and-miss at even the best places in this area, and my experience with Trejo is that it's no more consistent than, say, Taqueria La Cabana on Mission in Santa Cruz which I think does great carnitas about half the time. So for me, I won't go out of my way to go to Trejo.

        I've tried to go to Lidia more than once but it was always closed. I've heard very positive things though so hopefully I'll get the timing just right one of these days to try the mole negro and homemade tortillas.

        1. re: bouncepass

          If you want the crispy outer crust on carnitas, be sure to order it that way. Not everyone likes "carnitas doradas", so there's not guarantee that it's considered a mark of quality or that it will be served in your portion otherwise.

      2. Actually I've been to Taqueria Lidia, trying a couple antojitos there in January 2011, but failed to post at the time. It was fine but not so wonderful that I need to rush back. Part of my wanting to try Lidia is that I'd heard that the produce used comes from organic farms in Pajaro Valley. Not sure that's true, as I didn't get a chance to verify it at the time. Here's what it looked like at the time,

        Anyway, I had a memelita (Oaxacan version of a small sope) and a quesadilla. Neither of my items looked anything like the photographs posted with the menu. The memela (foreground) with quesillo (Oaxacan style cheese) was more like a freshly made tortilla than a thick, griddled masa cake and had none of the cabbage or other garnishes. Then the quesadilla was griddled instead of golden and deep-fried like the photo on display. Salsas had plenty of kick but were quite watery.

        I'd love to hear what others have liked here, especially any comments on the mole.

        1. Some recent and very positive experiences in Watsonville:

          Taqueria La Fuente: smaller than usual tacos, excellent tortillas. Best lengua I've had in a long time, excellent carnitas and chorizo-queso as well. Wasn't crazy about the recommended alambre. It was fine but the others were great. The icing on the cake is super-friendly service. Don't usually care, but this was notably positive. It leaps to the top of my list of taquerias in Santa Cruz County.

          Nacho Mama's: in the space where the dearly missed Tepa Sahuayo used to be. The namesake nachos are very tasty. The chips are freshly fried, and the ratio of filling to chip is appropriately high. I had only two leftover chips with no filling to go with them. I had the Mean Green, with chile verde, cheese and jalapeno slaw. So good that I might have to get it again next time even though there are other tempting items on the menu. Nachos can also be done with fries instead of chips, but based on tasting the fries, that would be the wrong call.

          El Volcan taco truck: Parked prominently across Riverside Dr from Nacho Mama's (at Gomez Gasoline), they make tortillas a la minute for every order. You can see roll out the masa right in the window. Tacos were pretty tasty but the meat wasn't quite as good as La Fuente, but that's a high standard. The quesadilla on the other hand really showed off the freshly-made tortilla and was terrific. Again, service was particularly friendly. I would definitely return.